In the list of ‘Genres Most Scared of Change’
The hidden object genre sits somewhere near the top, alongside football games and Tetris. It’s heartening to see, then, that Big Way Games and My Hidden Things are trying something very new. This is a hybrid of visual novel and hidden object game, and it doesn’t look anything like the ones we’re used to. There are no damsels in distress or messy rooms that need a good spring clean. My Hidden Things is out now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC.
Black and white comic book format
My Hidden Things is presented in a black and white comic book format, and it dabbles in the surreal. You play an unnamed character who’s effectively the Eve to a character called Xary’s Adam. You’ve come into being in a chaotic dreamworld, and you’re both trying to find your way in creation. The problems you face might seem simple on the face of it, but life’s not easy when you popped into existence about an hour ago.
You and Xary will come across other people in the dreamspace, and they each have problems to be solved. You become a kind of Dear Deidre or Judge Judy for these characters, solving their relationship disputes and putting them straight: you might help someone who is ill and needs caring, or encourage someone to walk away from an abusive relationship. There’s a whiff of pretentiousness to it, but it’s certainly going to places that we don’t often see in our game intray.
To solve these dreamers’ problems, the chaotic world vomits up a number of different items. They’re not all useful, so you have to spot the things that will help you, and combine them together if they’re not. There’s an edge of Doodle God in how you’re using items together to try to alchemically create something that’s useful, and we can definitely imagine it working in a hidden object game.
My Hidden Things looks like it’s playing around and trying new things to see if they work, and we’re on board, if we’re honest. Better to try and fail, right? And for a reasonably budget £5.79, it’s an experiment that might be worth getting involved with.
In the beginning there was nothing, only a chaos of dreams, out of which came Xary. It tried to understand people’s nature and help them, but it’s too young for that. Then you came along. Together, you can get to the bottom of this… Sometimes life tests us. The main characters of these stories will face many challenges, whether it be the illness of someone you love, a perilous journey or walking away from an abusive relationship. The solution is not always obvious and often frightening. Immerse yourself in three moving stories filled with pain, joy, fear, hope and triumph. My Hidden Things is a bold experiment: it’s a mixture of a visual novel and hidden object adventure with unusual mechanics. You have not only to search for objects but also combine them to get the ones on your list. The plot revolves around the dreams of several people you and Xary need to help. With your assistance, they can overcome their difficulties and stay human. The story is presented in a comic strip format.